Show Preview | Michelle Courier

Denver, CO
Westward Gallery, June 2-30

Michelle Courier, Tree Spirit, acrylic 24 x 48.

Michelle Courier, Tree Spirit, acrylic 24 x 48.

This story was featured in the June 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  June 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

When landscape painter Michelle Courier moved to Colorado six months ago, the first thing she noticed was how quickly the paint dried. “I’m going through much more paint than I usually do,” she says, laughing. After several years of concentrating her work on Lake Tahoe, Courier moved to Denver to open her own gallery and find new inspiration.

Westward Gallery opened in December with a small group of artists and two exhibition rooms. This month Courier presents her most recent paintings of the Colorado landscape in the first solo show hosted in the gallery. The show opens in conjunction with Denver’s First Friday art walks and remains on view throughout the month. The 20 pieces feature views from Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and several images of aspen trees at their peak autumn color.

Growing up in a family of artists, Courier was always attracted to the creative lifestyle and initially pursued a career in illustration. “I hated landscapes at first—I thought they were so boring,” Courier says. “But I took my first painting class in college, and one day, something clicked. I never looked back.” She began to paint the pine trees that surrounded her uncle’s farm, which, she says, “felt like people—they each had their own personality.” She continued adding elements to each environment, drawing on different venues to inform her vibrant, picturesque style.

During her travels across Colorado, Courier was struck by the changing sky as it relates to the landscape and decided to make many smaller paintings that hang together in the show. “I like several paintings that tell a story more than just one grand painting,” she says. “The changing landscape is to me like a moving painting, and I find that I’m geared toward that connected wall of paintings that can be taken together or individually.”

With Westward Gallery now established on the Denver art scene, Courier is excited to continue exploring Colorado and painting a mix of plein-air and studio work. “It’s such a joy to live here, where thousands of hikes are an hour or two away,” she says. “It’s just beautiful.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
720.483.1046
www.westwardgallery.com

This story was featured in the June 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  June 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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